#CleverlyBellew2 Review By Paul Ready

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The main event was anti-climatic to say the least – but there were significant positive aspects, let’s look at these in more detail:

 

Scott Quigg v Hidenori Ohtake

Ohtake was as hard as coffin nail and Quigg did find it difficult to break him down. The stoppage never looked likely. Ohtake was beginning to bleed heavily towards the end of the contest – his corner had no intention of dragging him out.

30 fights in and we still don’t know how good Scott Quigg really can be. For me he is still in the shadow of IBF Carl Frampton as the breakout fight eludes him. The Frampton fight financially is enormous and one that already has huge demand to take place.

If politics prevent Frampton v Quigg or Quigg v Leo Santa Cruz from happening it does diminish the options available to him. The man no one speaks of Guillermo Rigondeaux is now under consideration from Quigg’s camp.

El Chacal isn’t a boxer but an artist and watching him needs to be appreciated on mute with opera music playing as you sip a fine red wine.

Rigondeaux as we know is on another planet to any other Super Bantamweight’s – so does Quigg consider moving up 4 lbs to Featherweight?

It could well be an inspired move as there are plenty of huge fights there which should be straight forward to make. Names such as Abner Mares, Evgeny Gradovich, Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters – and closer to home Lee Selby and Josh Warrington.

 

James DeGale v Marco Antonio Periban

DeGale stole the show for me – best performance of the night. Discard the fact that Periban was a few lbs overweight the stoppage was not expected.

The left-hook is becoming a potent weapon for chunky and he has wiped out two top ten Super-Middle’s in succession.

Froch is all but signed to face Chavez Jr early 2015 so it DeGale will be fighting for the vacant IBF title. The Cobra has until 31st December to either start negotiations with DeGale or vacate. The likelihood he will face 6ft 2in fellow Southpaw Gilberto Ramirez (30-0: 24KO’s) for the belt.

With an altercation taking place at the weigh-in between Groves’ wife and DeGale’s mother – a rematch between the two after their respective world title shots is necessary. I’d back DeGale to prevail this time.

 

George Groves v Denis Douglin

Similar to the Rebrasse performance last month I felt Groves looked poor yet again. The major difference on this occasion was Saint GG managed to stop his man. Carl Froch spoke in the commentary that he felt Groves has been “Cobra’d” like Lucien Bute and is a shadow of his former self.

Froch did have a point to an extent as Groves does look a yard or two off pace. Trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick feels that the 26 yr is suffering from exhaustion after a hectic 12 months with four fights – two of them being PPV fights with Froch with gruelling media schedules.

It remains to be seen whether the former or latter is true with Groves. Next up will be Undefeated WBC Champion Anthony Dirrell (27-0: 22KO’s) and if he is tired or genuinely shot he will be exposed in brutal fashion.

 

Callum Smith v Nikola Sjekloca

Callum Smith would have learnt more on Saturday than he has in any of his previous fights – having gone 12 rounds for the first time in his career. There were stages when I was on the edge of my seat when those body shots landed and I thought the Montenegrin could cave. Credit to him he didn’t and kept coming forward.

I’m a huge fan of Smith, I do believe has all the attributes to go all the way. The only slight chink I can see in his armour is his lack of head movement and at times he can appear a tad rigid. I’d like to see more lateral movement – but for a guy 6ft 3in I appreciate that is difficult.

Next up will be a final eliminator for the WBC title in Spring with the caveat of facing the winner of George Groves and Anthony Dirrell.

 

Anthony Joshua v Michael Sprott

Veteran Sprott was blown away in the 1st round by Joshua to cap a busy 2014 for the 25 yr old. Next up is Kevin “King Pin” Johnson on 31st January.

After that I genuinely believe he is ready for Chisora or Price in the summer – perhaps Tyson Fury late 2015. I like the pace Joshua has been progressed up until now and I firmly believe 2016 will be the year to go for a world title.

Amateur rival Dillian Whyte returning from his two-year ban for consuming a banned substance found in a pre-workout drink. Whyte beat Joshua in 2009 as an amateur and has spoke about wanting the opportunity to fight again after he has eradicated any ring rust. That could be a tantalising match as there is apparently no love lost between the pair.

Joshua is boxing’s answer to The Thing from the Fantastic Four – displays mutant power. My concern is referee’s need to be conscious of his power as he could hospitalise someone, when he lands a combo flush it makes me wince. You can’t delay intervening when a 235lb specimen is unloading – you don’t play boxing as they say.

 

Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew

The main event didn’t match the hype or build up. It did descend in to a damp squib. Cleverly appeared to injury his hand in the 2nd and proceeded to jab Bellew for the remainder of the fight. Both men were blowing around the 10th and there is an argument that the build-up drained them.

I think there is an element of that but the Welshman for me isn’t a Cruiserweight and should consider moving back down to Light Heavyweight. He looked strong and athletic at the weight but with it deriving mainly from muscle – the extra oxygen required to sustain it clearly fatigued him.

Bellew was the deserved winner by a long shot as despite being shattered he was actually trading. A world title shot against Marco Huck is next up in 2015 and you can’t argue that the Liverpudlian doesn’t deserve it.

Cleverly yet again has much soul-searching to do.

Does he need to change trainers? Does he even want to continue boxing?

In hindsight privately he must acknowledge that he should have stuck it out with Adam Booth in London rather than choosing to train back home.

I’d like to see Cleverly go back to Light Heavy as he does have the ability to become a contender again. It is very much watch this space with him.

In conclusion the card as whole didn’t live up to expectations – but I look at it like I do when I try out a new curry house.

Sometimes you have a great meal; other times it doesn’t taste as good and you opt to give it miss next time.

This wasn’t a great takeaway but it won’t deter me from trying the next one.

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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Verbal slanging from Cleverly and Bellew today…

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Bitter rivals both predict stoppage wins in Liverpool on Saturday

Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew locked horns once again at today’s press conference – and both men predicted KO wins ahead of their rematch on Saturday at the sold-out Echo Arena in Liverpool, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

The bitter rivals addressed the media next door to the venue where they have met before and will meet again this weekend, and with the pair packing Cruiserweight power on Merseyside this time around, they are both in no doubt that the stakes couldn’t be higher for their long-awaited second clash.

“When you punch you are at your most vulnerable and I only need one punch to land, just one,” said Bellew. “I am technically better than him. He’s not that good, he’s actually pretty poor technically, and I can’t see how he can outbox me. The only thing he has got is that he could outwork me, but like I say, if you just want to work with me and fire shots at me, you’ll be going to sleep. I’m not going to die going down the stretch and if that’s what he is hoping for, he is very, very wrong.”

“There’s an incredible amount riding on this fight,” said Cleverly. “It’s personal between us but I know what will happen to the winner. This fight is a gateway to a World title shot and the chance for me to make that two-weight World champion dream a reality. That rarely happens in boxing, only the best fighters achieve it so for me to go on and do it, that’s what dreams are made of.

“I can’t imagine myself losing and it hasn’t crossed my mind because I am so confident of winning. I cannot allow this guy to beat me. I will meet him, trade with him, break him down and stop him – 2-0.”

Before Cleverly and Bellew renewed hostilities, Super Middleweight foes James DeGale MBE and George Groves encountered their respective opponents on Saturday for the first time.

DeGale faces Mexican danger man Marco Antonio Periban over 12 rounds with the Londoner choosing to take a risky fight despite his mandatory position for the IBF title – a risk the Olympic gold medallist says will pay off.

“A lot of people are saying ‘why are you taking this fight James?’” said DeGale. “The guy is a former World title challenger, he’s boxed Sakio Bika, he’s boxed some good opponents – why are you taking this fight because you’re so close now to a world title?

“The simple answer is that I want to box the best that I can. Fighting Periban and beating him – I’m going to get some credit after. I don’t have to take this fight, I could have taken a routine eight-rounder against a journeyman but I told Eddie Hearn ‘I don’t want that, get me someone I’m going to get credit for after’.

“This guy is going to come to fight but the better the opposition the better I’ll box. I’m really, really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to be in the ring again. This is a massive show, massive night of boxing in a brilliant city, a sold-out venue and live on Sky Sports Box Office so I can’t wait.”

Groves is in the same boat as DeGale as he meets the ‘Momma’s Boy’ while he waits on his shot at WBC champion Anthony Dirrell.

“This fight is a risky one if it doesn’t go to plan,” said Groves. “I would lose my mandatory shot, but I feel it was more important to keep the momentum going from the last fight.

“I’m looking forward to boxing well and getting more rounds banked ahead of my World title challenge.

“The Dirrell fight should take place before the end of March. That would be perfect for me. It would allow me to have a little break over December and to work on different things in the gym. Then come January, it would be full steam ahead.”

Cleverly and Bellew’s rematch tops a huge night of action in Liverpool live on Sky Sports Box Office.

There are a pair of WBA World title bouts as Bury star Scott Quigg defends his Super Bantamweight title against Hidenori Othake and Jamie McDonnell defends his Bantamweight strap against Javier Chacon.

Three of Britain’s best Super Middleweights are in action as James DeGale MBE faces Marco Antonio Periban, Callum Smith tackles Nikola Sjekloca in a WBC World title eliminator and George Groves takes on Denis Douglin.

Olympic Heavyweight hero Anthony Joshua MBE takes on Michael Sprott in a British title eliminator, Matchroom Boxing’s newest signing Bradley Saunders aims to extend his unbeaten run in the Light Welterweight division while German KO star Vincent Feigenbutz makes his UK debut.

Cleverly v Bellew II is exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office on 22 November with George Groves, Anthony Joshua and James DeGale also on the bill. skysports.com/cleverlybellew.

#CleverlyBellew2 Main Event by Paul Ready

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We are at that stage in fight week when the glare of the spot-light is beginning to become tiresome and eyes look weary. There are only so many interviews you can give on the same subject before your patience wears thin.

1 more press-conference remains and the weigh-in before the fists do the talking – all pre-talk is then rendered redundant.

Tony Bellew has a perception of being a passionate man; one who wears his heart on his sleeve and isn’t afraid to speak his mind – be it eloquently or vitriolic. But this week The Bomber appears as relaxed as a man in the departure lounge heading on holiday.

My fear for the 31 yr old was that he would get consumed by his own emotions and exhaust himself before his hands were wrapped.

So far, this hasn’t happened – but there is still time.

Nathan Cleverly appears even more relaxed displaying an air of assertion that it’s not if he will win; but when.

The concern for Cleverly is the mental effect the crushing stoppage to Sergey Kovalev has had on him, with the Welshman openly admitting that he did consider retirement in the aftermath. He strikes me as a deep thinker and I wonder if he is perhaps still to this day suffering in silence.

Cleverly turned pro as a 147lb Welterweight and has grown physically over the years in to a 200lb Cruiserweight. That’s a whopping 53lb increase with no sign of any visceral fat – the Welshman’s shoulders and back absorbing much of the weight.

“A lot of people have him as the favourite because he’s the naturally bigger guy,” said Cleverly. “He is heavy handed, apparently, so they think that is too much of a jump for me and it is a big jump. I’m up against it but I am confident. I know my own body, I know what I can do. Mentally and physically, I know my limits and I know that I can beat this guy at Cruiserweight. I feel comfortable, strong, sharp and fit. I’ll beat this guy.

“I’ve got too many strengths and I’ll bring everything I’ve learned from the lighter divisions up to Cruiserweight. I’ll bring the speed, I’ll bring the stamina. He can bring his power – I’ve already tested it and I’ve taken it with ease. It will be no different at Cruiserweight.”

Bellew was a 200lb Heavyweight amateur and to the surprise of many he turned pro as a 175lb Light-Heavyweight. His struggles with the Light-Heavy limit have been well documented and The Bomber’s punch-power has increased significantly.

With no-love- lost between them, The Bomber’s hatred for his adversary runs as deep as the River Mersey.

Bellew stuck a bandage on a poster of Cleverly’s head Tuesday at his open workout – writing “Fraud” across it.

“He says one thing and then does another so I’m just letting it be known. Instead of the bandana saying what it usually says I think it’s better saying something suitable from now on. That’s the most truthful word I can use about him. Bellew said to Skysports.

“One minute he’s retiring, one minute he’s the best athlete in the world, one minute he can’t be knocked out and in the next phrase he says: ‘If he hits me, he is the stronger man and can knock me out and someone’s got to go.’

“He contradicts himself constantly so he’s just a strange cat to be real and that’s the fact of the matter”

So how will the fight pan out?

If there is to be a KO it will come from Bellew – but underestimate Cleverly’s chin at your peril – he can take a punch and the country will be glued to the screen when he takes his first. I expect Bellew to be in the shape of his life; Dave Coldwell formerly of Team Hayemaker will have The Bomber in peak condition. Cleverly is the better natural athlete and you can bet your house on him being at optimum level for Saturday.

Cleverly I favour should the fight go beyond the half-way stage. With his Calzaghe trained DNA, you can guarantee endurance and a high volume of punches being thrown. He is no cotton-wool puncher himself and should Bellew tire down the stretch, a stoppage from The Welshman won’t be a huge shock.

A genuine 50-50 match with the caveat of a World Title shot for the victor.

Could this be the makeover the division perceived as the ugly sister in America needs to finally get to the prom?

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

#CleverlyBellew 2 Undercard by Paul Ready

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Fight night fast approaching and one of the busiest bills for some time, my first wonder was how these will all be squeezed in on one night.

With a fascinating Super-Middleweight sub-plot to the main event, let’s look at the fights in more detail:

 

 

JAMES DEGALE VS MARCO ANTONIO PERIBAN
12 x 3 mins Super Middleweight contest

IBF mandatory challenger DeGale (19-1: 13 KO’s) could end up fighting for a vacant title in the New Year. Champion Carl Froch has faced two back to back mandatory challenges from George Groves and is lukewarm to the prospect of a third.

The Cobra wants to fulfill a live-long ambition of headlining a Las Vegas card against an illustrious name – with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr mooted as the man in the frame. DeGale he feels Froch is “dodging” him but I disagree.

The 28 yr old won in emphatic fashion in May with a career-best performance stopping Brandon Gonzalez in-front of a packed Wembley Stadium. The level DeGale is now operating at there is no such thing as an easy opponent and that is evident with the fight against Mexican Periban (20-2-1: 13 KO’s) this Saturday.

Periban is a live, aggressive opponent and not a man to take lightly. With only 2 blotches on his copybook in the form of losses to J’Leon Love and Sakio Bika both on points. The Love defeat I felt was a robbery as he was gone in the fifth, the ref spared the American a career-first defeat.

Chunky needs to win; and win well – if he is to have any chance to charm the Cobra in to dancing with him. I expect DeGale to look sizzling and take a unanimous points decision.

 

SCOTT QUIGG VS HIDENORI OTAKE
12 x 3 mins WBA World Super Bantamweight title

I feel sorry for Quigg, the fights he craves Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton don’t appear to be any closer to fruition. Up next on Saturday is Otake who is a replacement for the injured Shingo Wake, who damaged his ankle. Wake was allegedly photographed running on it shortly after.

Otake (22-1: 9 KO’s) hasn’t boxed out of Japan before but is ranked #3 with the IBF and #9 with the WBO. A credible opponent for Quigg, but anything other than a mid to late stoppage for the 26 yr old would be a huge shock.

 

JAMIE MCDONNELL VS JAVIER CHACON

12 x 3 mins WBA World Bantamweight title

New father McDonnell (24-0: 11KO’s) make his first defence of his WBA Bantamweight title against relatively unknown Javier Chacon. Chacon tackled Super champion Anselmo Moreno earlier in the year, taking the Panamanian the distance, and the Argentine replaces Walberto Ramos on the bill after the Columbian had visa complications.

The caveat for the 28 yr old McDonnell with a win is a Las Vegas unification bout with Tomoki Kameda WBO champion early 2015.

Kameda (31-0: 19 KO’s) is the youngest of a famous Japanese family-fighting-trio and regarded as the top fighter at 118lbs. Should McDonnell as expected get past Chacon, he will face Kameda as a huge underdog – but he will relish the opportunity to test himself against the very best.

 

ANTHONY JOSHUA VS MICHAEL SPROTT
10 x 3 mins British Heavyweight title eliminator

Sprott (47-22: 17 KO’s) is Joshua’s 10th opponent, and I expect his most ruthless and spiteful performance to date. I was there at the O2 spitting distance from where AJ battered Denis Bakhtov last month and few would have blamed Sprott not fancying it.

Credit to the 39 yr old when asked by promoter Eddie Hearn if he still wants the fight he responded by saying;

“Of course I do, I’m going to knock him out.”

What impressed me most with the 25 yr old Watford man is his nasty streak that has evolved – all great fighters have that in their locker. If Sprott goes more than 3 rounds I will be amazed.

With speculation rife that charismatic Kevin Johnson is already signed to face Joshua in January, I feel he is only 2 fights away from facing Dereck Chisora or David Price in a blockbuster Heavyweight showdown.

 

CALLUM SMITH VS NIKOLA SJEKLOCA
12 x 3 mins WBC Super Middleweight title official eliminator

Three is a crowd as they say and that definitely is the case with Callum Smith in the Groves & DeGale saga. Smith (14-0: 11KO’s) is the elephant in the room that prior to Ringside last month neither man wanted to acknowledge.

He is the real deal – from people I speak to within the industry I’ve yet to encounter anyone who doesn’t rave about him.

What I feel is a masterstroke is that the 24 yr old is now in an eliminator for the WBC on Saturday with the likelihood of a fight with George Groves growing ever closer.

Smith’s camp fancy their chances against Groves. They have sparred together and Callum more than held his own allegedly knocking Groves down a few times. Whilst rumours are always rife from sparring and elements do need to be taken with a pinch of salt, there is a genuine feeling that Groves peaked against Froch in the first fight and is vulnerable.

First Mundo needs to navigate past Sjekloca (28-2: 8KO’s) a former world title challenger with 2 defeats coming against Arthur Abraham and Sakio Bika. I expect it to be a stern test for Callum but one I feel he will grind out down the stretch taking a late stoppage or point’s decision.

 

GEORGE GROVES VS DENIS DOUGLIN
12 x 3 mins WBC Silver Super Middleweight title

Saint George(20-2: 15KO’s) faces American “Mama’s Boy” Denis Douglin.

Douglin (17-3: 10KO’s) is famously trained by his mother and has lost to Jermell Charlo and Jose Angel Rodriguez.  I don’t expect Douglin to trouble the 26 yr old from Hammersmith a great deal – but if the recent Rebrasse fight is anything to go by he could make this look harder than it actually is.

Like most I did feel that Groves’ performance flattered Rebrasse and he looked very gaunt at the weigh-in. With lucrative domestic fights at 168lbs with Callum Smith and a rematch with James Degale, a move up to Light-Heavy will be postponed for a few years.

The rivalry with DeGale goes back to when both men were amateurs at Dale Youth – both vying for the “top boy” status in the club. For me it is the bitterest rivalry in British boxing – even surpassing Tony Bellew & Nathan Cleverly and Kell Brook’s with Amir Khan.

If both Groves and DeGale can secure World titles it would make for a huge rematch – but Callum Smith is also in the mix!

Watch this space over the next 12-18mths as we are in-line for some great fights in the UK.

 

VINCENT FEIGENBUTZ VS LORENZO DI GIACOMO 

The dark horse in the 168lb division is in the shape of German teenager Vincent Feigenbutz. The 19 yr old is built like a tank and has knocked out 15 of his 16 opponents so far.

Hype job?

I don’t think so. I’m looking forward to watching him accelerate in the slipstream of the 3 Brits over the next coming years.

 
@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

#AbrahamSmith #BellewCleverly2 by Paul Ready

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Arthur Abraham v Paul Smith

Let’s focus on the positives firstly; Smith in his maiden title-shot put in his career-best performance to date.
He turned up to fight and put “King Arthur” under pressure through-out.

I had “Real Gone Kid” winning by a round, but it was tight. Tight as a duck’s arse in a sandstorm tight.

I did feel that he would need to do something spectacular to win on points, but I never expected the scoring to be so wide. How one judge can score it 11 rounds to 1 in favour for Abraham is beyond me.

I hope the WBO does the decent thing and installs Smith as the mandatory challenger.

But the elephant in the room within the sport of boxing continues to be judge’s scoring. When you travel abroad and you are the away fighter unfortunately you have to expect some favouritism to the home fighter. The Ricky Burns v Raymund Beltran verdict a recent example of this.

However, I think we need to see more decisions reviewed and if the governing bodies feel the scores are incorrect, judges need to be penalised accordingly.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Smith, 31, on a fine performance. I hope that he is not
too disheartened as he will be back stronger from this set-back.

Bellew v Cleverly 2

Confirmation arrived today that the date of 22nd November will be when we have the eagerly awaited rematch between these two.

Let’s hope both men have actually signed the contract!

3 years have passed since they last fought; with Cleverly being the victor.

What I love about this rematch is the pair of them absolutely despise one other – Bellew’s distain for the Welshman is as venomous as any snake-bite in the outback.

With both men now signed with Matchroom and operating at Cruiserweight, the build-up is guaranteed to be full of fireworks.

With a 2 city promotional tour taking place this week in both Liverpool and Cardiff in the same day; which man will be able keep their cool?

I’m going to stick my neck out now and back Cleverly to win via stoppage. I feel the Welshman is the better boxer and looks a beast at the weight.

It would be foolish to underestimate the power the Bomber possesses but I fancy Cleverly to be the stronger of the two down the stretch.

The 27 yr old former WBO Light-Heavy champion appears to be able to control his feelings more than the 31 yr old Liverpudlian.
It is one of Bellew’s biggest traits his passion for the sport, but equally it is an Achilles heel.

If he allows emotion to get the better of him in the build-up; it will give Cleverly a clear psychological advantage before either steps through the ropes.

With no news yet on who the supporting acts are, one man who won’t be featuring is Rocky Fielding currently nursing an injury.

This is a huge shame as an all Liverpool bout with Callum Smith would have been a fantastic compliment to the main event.

Callum will be fighting in Leeds this weekend and tune in later this week for my pre-fight analysis of the card.

We look forward to Ricky Burns making his bow at 140lbs; in addition to Josh Warrington and Brian Rose making his comeback since his defeat to Demetrius Andrade.

@PaulReady
@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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Boxing Update 17/09 by Paul Ready #Mayhem #SaundersEubankJr #ReturnOfTheSaint

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Plenty of news/reviews to get through today so let’s dive straight in…

Mayweather v Maidana 2

Floyd “Money” Mayweather (47-0) beat Marcos “Chino” Maidana (35-5) via a unanimous decision on Saturday evening. It was a comprehensive victory for Money; I gave Maidana 2 rounds (4th & 9th) but we did see two sides to Floyd in this fight.

My first observation was his footwork was the most fluid I have seen from him for years. The introduction of Yoga in to his training regime is clearly reaping its rewards. However I recall him throwing one possibly two meaningful combinations all night, the trademark lower ab jab and right hook were his bread & butter all evening.

Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 Results: Highlights, Future Outlook for Both Fighters

What was most startling to me was the ease at which Maidana’s straight jab was getting through. Chino isn’t renowned for having a crisp jab but on Saturday he had frequent success with it. Many top welterweights would have watched that fight and seen signs that age is steadily catching up with Floyd. But make no mistake, even a Floyd in decline is still significantly better than the rest of the division.

The challenge for Mayweather’s camp is matching him in his remaining two bouts; do they look to conserve the unbeaten record and pit him against perceived easier opposition?

Or do they put him in with Amir Khan, Keith Thurman or shock the boxing world and finally make the Manny Pacquiao fight?

My belief is Pacquiao is unlikely to happen, Khan is a possibility but the hand speed he possesses will trouble Floyd. Keith Thurman would be my personal choice in May 2015 but he is the most dangerous opponent out there currently.

Love or loath Floyd, you have to admire the man inside the ring and what he has achieved in the sport. He’s one of the best fighters I’ve ever seen. The TBE (The Best Ever) motto is up for debate; I would back Sugar Ray Leonard to have beaten him in a fantasy fight.

The next two fights choices will be fascinating and I expect we will be made to wait until early 2015 to find out who is chosen.

 

29th November – Two big shows, one night

Matchroom and Frank Warren appear to be heading towards a blockbuster clash of boxing on 29th November with cards in Liverpool and London respectively.

Frank Warren has announced “Bad Blood” which is headlined by the rescheduled Dereck Chisora v Tyson Fury 2 fight, with Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr as chief support.

Matchroom are rumoured to be considering this same date to stage Tony Bellew v Nathan Cleverly 2 bout.

Two huge cards; 3 domestic grudge matches between 6 men who can not stand the sight of their opponent – and I’m in New York on holiday!

It’s an evening that will require the need for modern technology; one card on the TV, the other streamed on your tablet.

The Saunders v Eubank Jr fight for me is the most intriguing one. Reading tweets & various articles, opinion is well and truly divided on who will prevail. Some believe Saunders walks through Eubank Jr and it’s the evening he finally gets his comeuppance. Others, myself included feel that Eubank Jr shocks people and beats Saunders in a thrilling fight that has everyone on the edge of their seat.

One thing is for certain that the build-up for those 3 fights is going to explosive; the press-conferences will contain more trash than your local landfill site. The animosity between them will make Froch v Groves look like bum chums. I’m looking forward to the build-up on those fights dare I say more than some of the actual contests themselves.

 

George Groves v Christopher Rebrasse

On the subject of “Saint” George Groves, he makes his return to the ring this Saturday after his brutal knockout by Carl Froch in May. Now promoted by Sauerland Promotions, Saint GG is thrust straight in to a WBC Final Eliminator against durable Frenchman Rebrasse.

Rebrasse (22-2: 6 KO’s) shouldn’t pose a major threat to Groves and I back the Hammersmith man to stop the Frenchman late.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

@EddieHearn on Ryder, Boylan v Goodjohn, Bellew Cleverly 2, Brook v Khan, Mitchell

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Elite Boxing:

Eddie, another great card has been announced by yourselves. I think fight-wise this one does shade the Hull card.

In the press conference you alluded to Tony Sims and John Ryder looking at a number of top fighters in the Middleweight division, could you mention who else was looked at?

 

Eddie Hearn:

He (Tony ) was mentioning everyone in the Middleweight division basically.

You know, he was saying; “John is ready to step-up now”. He was calling out people, going down the rankings saying; “He’ll fight him, he’ll fight him.”

In the end I thought of the Khomistky fight and thought you know what, he’s got the profile as he sparked (Frank) Buglioni out and the response to that fight has been really good. Most people have gone “fucking hell!” you know. But it’s a great fight and there is no reason why Ryder can’t win the fight, but it’s definitely a 50/50 fight.

Khomistsky lost recently to Stieglitz in a really close fight. You look at (Robert) Stieglitz and Ryder, Stieglitz is a former world champion and Ryder lost for the British. Styles make fights and Ryder v Khomistky is a great fight.

 

EB:

Another fight on the card is (Ricky) Boylan v (Tyler) Goodjohn it has been amusing for us all to watch unfold on Twitter.

 

EH:

To be honest with you and no disrespect to those guys, but at English level they do make for great fights. The atmosphere will be great. Boylan will do 500 tickets, Goodjohn will do 300-400 it’s fantastic.

That division (Light-Welter) is really good domestically; you’ve got John Wayne Hibbert here, Tyrone Nurse, Willie Limond, Chris Jenkins, Tommy Martin; it’s a really good division especially in London.

 

EB: 

I agree. On a different note, did you see the recent pictures of Amir Khan looking overweight on holiday?

 

EH:

I couldn’t believe it. I think I’m in better shape than him at the moment!

Obviously he’s enjoying some down time, but I understand he’s fighting on December 6th, he’ll probably start his camp soon. If he wins, then Kell (Brook) wins also on December 6th they can both fight each other soon.

 

EB:

How are talks for that fight progressing?

 

EH:

It’s early stages. I think everyone realises that there is a lot of money to be made, they both would like the fight to happen.

So really over the next couple of weeks a priority is to secure the December 6th opponent for Kell then trying to make that fight asap.

 

EB:

Would you side-step the Khan fight for Brook in the unlikely event that an opportunity to face Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather presents itself?

 

EH:

In a way I think so, but financially there is more money in fighting Khan for both people than for the Mayweather fight.

It is definitely an easier fight than facing Mayweather. I think Khan will need to look at Brook and he probably thinks that is an easier fight than Pacquiao or Mayweather. But Khan has always wanted the Mayweather fight.

When Brook beats Khan, he can go on and fight those two; if Khan was to lose to Brook, where does he go from there?

 

EB:

Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly, I’ve seen a few tweets in recent days regarding whether that is still going ahead in December, could you clear that subject up?

 

EH:

We are looking at having that on the Brook 6th December card. We looked at November 29th in Liverpool but it’s a big fight, should Cleverly have to go back to Liverpool again (to face Bellew)?

Nathan likes the idea of a neutral venue and in Sheffield we have the opportunity to do it.

I’m seeing Tony on Tuesday so hopefully that can be all agreed.

 

EB:

Kevin Mitchell, I know the (Miguel) Vasquez has moved further away since he has signed with Al Haymon, do you have any update on him?

 

EH:

He’s supposed to be the mandatory challenger (IBF Lightweight) but now he’s not. He was due to be on the O2 card, he has a few niggles injury-wise but he will now box before the end of the year. 

It’s frustrating as that would have been the big one for him. But now we’ve got to try find another way.

 

EB:

Finally Eddie on to Lee Selby v Joel Brunker, another great fight. If he wins, with regards to facing IBF champion (Evgeny) Gradovich, when would you look to make that?

 

EH:

He had a mandatory. He’ll have a voluntary around the same time as Selby and we will look for that fight to take place in February.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

Wadi Camacho “My time to shine” by Paul Ready

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In boxing there are many fighters who polarise opinion.

They are some adored by many who support, cheer and will them on to succeed.

They are some despised by many who wish them to be battered in brutal fashion.

If you asked anyone over Hadrian’s Wall what they thought of Spanish-born Wadi Camacho they would certainly fall in to the latter category.

Wadi wouldn’t want it any other way, he feeds off the hatred. It makes him laugh and smile as people are giving him the attention he craves.

Thus creating a buzz around him and his fights.

They will tune in to see him lose, they will continue bait and goad him on Twitter as he builds up to a huge rescheduled grudge match against Stephen Simmons for the WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title.

The Canning Town Catalan, a huge Southpaw Cruiserweight with monster power was in a relaxed mood when we spoke at Simsy’s Gym.

photo

Elite Boxing:

Wadi, I appreciate your time as you are right in the thick of your training camp, so tell me what got you in to boxing?

 

Wadi Camacho:

 

What got me in to boxing? I was always intrigued by boxing, I used to watch Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis.

I was always in to different types of sport. When I was 19-20 I was in to football and basketball. I achieved a lot in those sports and I still found I had lots of energy inside me when I finished matches.

I started going to a gym, do weights and that then I met my good friend Gary Delaney, after that 1 day I jumped in the ring with him, he gave me a black eye.

I felt so relaxed after a good sparring season, after that I went all the way in.

 

EB:

You ended up getting in to the sport quite late I see. I looked at Box Rec the other day and was surprised that you’ve only been professional for 2.5 years, you seem to have been around for ages.

You fought 6-7 odd times in 2013, I watched the Conquest fight back the other day and I felt you’d nicked it.

 

WC:

I take a lesson out of each fight, the China Clarke situation (Wadi lost to him last year) I wasn’t in great shape, my mind-set wasn’t there.

I was running around doing too much outside the ring, trying to sell tickets & going out, staying up too late.

So my mind wasn’t where it should have been.

I went out in Round 1, all guns blazing and ended up losing. But I took a big lesson out of that and took it in to the next fight.

With the Conquest fight, I was gutted as I trained really hard for it. I’m not looking to blame anyone, but I am the fighter I admit I should of had my killer instinct on to take the guy out but at the same time I listened to the instructions I was given and lost.

But a another lesson learnt, but where I am now is amazing.

 

EB:

You’ve been with Peter (Sims) now since January and I’m sure you’ve talked it to death you leaving Don Charles, but from your perspective what has been the most refreshing thing about coming to Simsy’s gym and working with Peter?

 

WC:

During my previous fights I sparred here against Ben (Benga Ileyemi), I boxed here as an amateur and knew everyone, John Ryder, Kevin Mitchell I’ve known them from way dot.

It just felt nice being here, me and Pete had a connection. Then I called him and asked if he’d take anyone else on, and basically after that he gave me a trial.

I was really excited, as I felt he could get a lot out of me and where I can go with my career.

After that it’s been amazing, I talk to him every day, he rings me, I do my runs he checks up on me. That’s what I need.

Not just as a trainer as I see him as more than a trainer. It’s a big family in the gym. Whenever I hear Pete’s voice, it pushes me.

Last week he wasn’t in as he was ill, when I was training and feeling a bit tired I just got Pete running through my head.

 

EB:

I get that impression that Peter like Tony has an aura about him and you respect him a lot. You said that you previously “took your eye off the ball”, having someone like that is going to be on your case is going to get the best out of you.

You could tell the importance of the first fight you had together (Wadi beat Toni Visic in April) putting the extra training in to practice what with the Simmons fight being delayed.

 

WC:

With the Simmons fight, it was good he pulled out due to injury as now the bond me and Pete have now is to the next level.

We were going back in the corner of the Visic fight and having normal conversations which relaxed me and put me at ease.

Certain guys sit there and just listen to instructions nodding.

You need to have conversations to acknowledge what the trainer is saying to you.

 

EB:

You and Tyler have a great relationship together as well, you were there supporting him in Manchester, he walked you out last month, no doubt the same will happen in Glasgow.

 

WC:

Totally, most people know that boxers are selfish. I would be the first to admit I’m very selfish just about me. But I do help out where I can, sometimes I do want to just finish training and go home. But he is my little bro and we are close.

Boxing is lonely, you have to push yourself with your runs. But when I’m in the gym with the boys, it gives me a boost.

I thrive on attention, if I don’t get attention I get down.

I’m loving this with Simmons, do you know why? Because people are giving me attention, regardless of if it’s negative or positive it drives me.

Without attention, I’m a light bulb with no electricity.

 

EB:

You are an energy fighter, feeding off that type of volatile environment.

 

WC:

There you go. I was supposed to have a press conference 2 weeks ago that I couldn’t go to and I was disappointed as there would be loads of people there.

Pete told me to stay away from Twitter for a few weeks, so I stayed away from Twitter.

I’ve got another one in June, then the weigh-in, I can’t wait.

 

EB:

Looking at Simmons’ record, would you say you’ve had tougher fights than him to date?

 

WC:

I’ve been there and felt the decision going against me. I don’t want to feel that again. Which is why me and my team have put everything right for this fight coming up.

He hasn’t felt that yet, but he is going to feel it on the 27th June. 100% he is going to feel it.

 

EB:

I’ll be amazed if this fight goes the distance. In your last fight, you showed glimpses of your punching-power and the work you’ve done with Peter.

 

WC:

I’ve prepared to go any round, everyone knows what I carry; extreme power. It’s not something I have to build in to, when I do land, they do go.

The last fight the guy was awkward, we knew he was going to switch from Southpaw to Orthodox. We wanted to show the amazing people who tune in to Prizefighter a great show. I wanted to show everyone what me and Pete had been working on, I used my jab and showed everyone I’ve got a serious weapon without relying on my back-hand.

Once Pete told me to put my foot on the gas, I switched it up.

 

EB:

You and I spoke outside just now about Nathan Cleverly joining Matchroom and joining Tony Bellew in your division. Naturally you wouldn’t be naïve enough to look beyond Simmons but no doubt you have plans to get in the mix of that.

 

WC:

Oh yeah of course, it’s not some point. Those fights will 100% happen. I’m not going to look too far ahead, Simmons has the WBC Silver International and he’s my path currently.

Once I finish him, all the doors are open.

But good luck to those two, they will end up fighting each other later this year in a rematch.

 

EB:

I believe Matchroom are planning to have them both fight on the next Liverpool show in July to drum up interest then late November face each other again.

 

WC:

It’s great for the fans to see that rematch, last was Light-Heavy, this time Cruiser.

But I’ve got my own big domestic fight and trust me it’s going to steal the show in Scotland.

Every single session I’m training hard.

The next level is when we go away to Spain next week.

All the hard ground work has been done with regards to fitness so we’ll be having top sparring out there.

Come back, keep ticking over, my fitness levels are really great.

 

EB:

You spoke earlier at being disappointed in missing the last pre-fight press conference, do you have anything planned try antagonise Simmons at the next one?

 

WC:

We’ve got a hearing with the Scottish Board on June 1st, I’m staying over then there’s another press conference on 2nd.

Like I said, I’m a cool person… sometimes. But if he gives it, I’ll have to put him in his place.

He’ll get wound up again. He says he won’t, in my presence he does get wound up.

I’ve seen the parody account that makes me laugh, it doesn’t effect me.

I have cussing matches with mates on a Whatsapp group where we rip each other daily, with my best friends so it’s nothing.

When I didn’t go to the last press conference, I wrote a letter to Eddie (Hearn) to read out saying if he wants to make a bet that I will put him on the floor and he’s going to say “Yeah Buddy”. Simmons said no, he’s not going to agree, when he puts me on the floor he’s going to say “Yeah Buddy”.

At the next press conference I will tell him again that he’s going to smell the canvas.

A lot of people used to laugh at me saying “Yeah Buddy”, now everyone is using it. People are wearing my t shirts, hats, shorts. It makes you feel nice. Rather than saying just “Yeah”, you say “Yeeeeaaah Buddy”

 

EB:

You never know, if you get past Simmons, in to the mix with Bellew & Cleverly you could end up developing it as a clothing brand. You only have to look at Lethal Bizzle and his successful Dench range.

Where did the phrase “Smell the Canvas” come from?

 

WC:

He just went crazy, he doesn’t have any punching power. He talks like he’s a banger, like he knocks people out for fun, which is what I do. The guy is just crazy. I know myself, I don’t hype things up but he will 100% smell the canvas.

 

EB:

You can make comparisons with Froch Groves 1 as Groves really got under Froch’s skin and pissed him off. You’ve managed to do that without really doing much yourself.

 

WC:

He was wound up before he got there. My fans on Twitter they were saying stuff about him, his missus and his friends. I had nothing to do with it, I didn’t put anyone up to it.

Then I started getting loads of abuse from his fans for no reason.

I can’t control what the fans say, if I want to RT something I will do so. No one controls me but Peter… haha!

 

EB:

We’ll wrap it up there Wadi as you’ve got training to do shortly. Do you have any messages to your fans & friends making the trip to Scotland?

 

WC:

I don’t want no-one to come to Scotland. Anyone that’s routing for me, stay at home and watch it. If you want to come up, it would be nice. It’s going to be exciting, make sure you tune-in.

Keep following Wadi Camacho as I’m going to do the business, I’m very nice and focused right now in a good place.

When I’m happy, everything is beautiful.

 

EB:

Wadi, thanks for your time, best of luck with rest of the training and no doubt we will speak in the near future.

 

WC:

Thanks man, I really appreciate it.

 

 

You can follow Wadi Camacho on Twitter: @wadicamacho and on Instagram: teammacho1.

For tickets to see Camacho v Simmons, they are available through Matchroom Boxing please contact Wadi for availability.

Interview by Paul Ready

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

www.eliteboxing.net

 

Nathan Cleverly to Matchroom by Paul Ready

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Nathan Cleverly has completed a move across the road to Matchroom Boxing this week.

The Welshman has spent his entire career to date boxing under Frank Warren Promotions.

The 27 yr old has not boxed since his career first defeat to Sergey Kovalev last summer thus losing his WBO Light-Heavyweight title.

I had a sneaky suspicion that Cleverly was going to join Matchroom when I spotted him sat ringside on 1st February at their last show in Cardiff.

Coupled with him being on SkySports Ringside last week discussing “the second chapter and second coming” the cat was well and truly out of the bag.

Cleverly has cited intentions of moving up to Cruiserweight as he feels more comfortable at the weight as opposed to boiling down to Light Heavy.

The agreement with Matchroom I believe is on a fight-by-fight basis as Cleverly is out of contract, but it is inevitable that he will end up fighting former nemesis and now stablemate Tony Bellew.

Bellew has already made the step-up to Cruiserweight and this will be built in to a big domestic fight.

“It’s chapter two for me. I’ve had a bit of time off and I decided to team up with Eddie,” said Cleverly.

“Matchroom and Sky Sports is the place to be to get back to the top and I can’t wait to get back in there – let’s bring it on.”

Reflecting on a possible second bout with Bellew, Cleverly said: “I think it’s inevitable. We’re both on a collision course, we’re now in the same weight division.

“We’ve already had one great fight, which was an entertaining, crowd pleasing fight, so I think the fight fans want to see it. Bellew wants the fight, I want the rematch as well. Even though I won the first fight, I’m prepared to give him a rematch. I’m sure we’ll get it on.”

In an exciting division domestically that contains Ola Afolabi, Benga Ileyemi and Wadi Camacho, there are plenty of great match-ups that can be made.

Cleverly spoke exclusively to IFLTV yesterday and had this to say on his move:

One of the best arguments at a press-conference actually took place between Cleverly and Bellew on the Groves v DeGale card, the fight didn’t end up happening then, but it’s great viewing never-the-less.

 

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady

 

Boxing Update 17/03 By Paul Ready #MerseyBeat #ChisoraFury

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With the first piece of sun of 2014, we had to endure your stereotypical British men strolling down the street with their tops off, like they are in the middle of a desert.

I recall walking from an English pub back to the Las Vegas strip in 2009 with 2 friends. We had just watched England demolish Croatia in the World Cup qualifiers, with the time difference it was around 11am.

“The strip isn’t that far away” we said after a skinful that was no doubt topping up the alcohol from the night before.

It transpired that the strip was indeed that far away, walking past the runway of John McCarron airport adjacent to us should have been a clue in itself.

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday-sun as they say.

Mersey Beat

Ryder v Kandelski

John Ryder was sky-dived in at the 11th hour for this card, and ended up winning a 6 rounder on points.

In a night of Simsy’s gym v Georgia; The Gorilla won his first fight since his narrow points defeat to Billy Joe Saunders last year.

Next up for the 25 yr old is Jez Wilson for a British title eliminator as the headline fight of Prizefighter at York Hall.

Mitchell v Avakyan

Kevin Mitchell made light work of Mikheil Avakyan with a 2nd round stoppage. Avakyan displayed one of the most unconventional styles I’ve seen for a while. Glenn McCroy of Skysports described him as Mr Bean, which tickled me and was absolutely spot on.

The Georgian was well out of his depth against the 29 yr old who knocked him down twice in the 1st and a third knockdown in the 2nd halted the contest.

The 22 yr old wasn’t the calibre of opponent Mitchell was expecting but nevertheless you can only beat who is in front of you.

Last week we’ve had confirmation that talks are ongoing between Vazquez’ camp and Matchroom for the IBF title. This has been pencilled in for the undercard of Froch Groves 2 . Hopefully an announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

Fielding v Adamu

Rocky Fielding lost his Commonwealth Super-Middle title on the scales Friday morning due to being 6lbs overweight.

What I found puzzling about the weight issue was that surely Fielding would have known days before the weigh-in he was touch-and-go to make-weight.

I think he will envitably end up fighting at Light-Heavy in the future, I can see similarities between Fielding and Cleverley in their boxing style, both tall and rangey.

Charles Adamu, who has fought Carl Froch and George Groves previously, was still able to win the belt on Saturday night.

Fielding won on points in a fight that few will wish to sit through again as it was a real dull affair.

Talk has been rife of an all Liverpool encounter against Paul Smith, who has his eyes firmly on a world title tilt against Arthur Abrahams. Smith had this to say on Fielding:

“I don’t want to be too disrespectful to him, it wasn’t his best performance and Adamu wouldn’t have lasted two rounds with either myself or my brother Callum,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s all very well Eddie Hearn saying it’s a huge fight for Liverpool, but if he did that he would get a huge fine and I don’t he will be mandatory challenger after that.

“I want Arthur Abraham. I want to win the Lonsdale Belt outright but the board is not letting anyone fight me for it and unfortunately I might have to leave it behind.

“I’m not missing out on a fight with Arthur Abraham, I’d get five times the money and a shot at the world title.

“If the opportunity presents itself I’ll fight Rocky every day of the week and twice on a Sunday, but if he stays at super-middleweight he’s got to fight me or my brother Callum.”

If Smith was to face Arthur Abraham and win the WBO, you could have the Froch/Groves winner holding IBF & WBA, James DeGale the WBC title should he win against Sakio Bika.

The possibility of all 4 world titles held by British fighters by the end of 2014 is a mouth-watering prospect.

Brook v Robles

Kell Brook beat Alvaro Robles in the 8th round when the towel was thrown in by the Mexican’s corner.

Robles came with a real sense of self-belief, he was game and true to the Hispanic heritage, he was tough as a coffin nail.

The Special One was in control of the contest throughout and peppered the jab like you would a medium-rare steak.

There was an argument that the referee could have stopped the contest a few rounds sooner, but I disagree as the Mexican was still returning punches accurately.

The potential banana skin was averted for the 27 yr old as he looks towards facing the winner of Shawn Porter and Paulie Malignaggi who fight on April 19th in Washington.

My preference would be to see Malignaggi face Brook in July for the IBF belt. Paulie has bags of charisma and experience, he is the type of name will gain respect Stateside.

The Brooklyn native would berate Brook, no doubt calling him a bum and that no-one knows who he is in America. This would be the perfect ammunition for The Special One to put on a big performance.

 

Bellew v Brudov

Tony Bellew had to endure a hellish 7th round to win his Cruiserweight debut on Saturday night.

The Bomber floored Brudov with a brutal straight right that nearly went through head of the Russian in the 2nd.

Credit to Brudov for getting off the canvas and battling on; the 31 yr old floored his foe again in the 6th.

In the 7th we nearly had an upset when Bellew was caught strolling on to a right hand, The Bomber’s legs had gone, his gumshield flew out and nearly landed on Jim Watt’s lap.

I thought he was finished.

A low blow from Brudov gave the Liverpudlian some much-needed time to grab some oxygen and compose himself.

The contest came to a dramatic close in the 12th with a big left that sent Brudov back home via the Siberian Express.

“I’ve done the domestic scene and I’m in the sport to be world champion,” said the Scouser. “I’ve been at the top in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth – it’s time to be number one in the world.

“I’m pretty happy with my performance. It’s a six out of 10 for me, but the win is the main thing.” Said Bellew.

I think talk of facing WBO champion Marco Huck is a tad premature for The Bomber.
Huck who is the spit of Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps, has a proven track record of being able to swim comfortably in this division.

Fighting Ola Afolabi or Firat Arslan who have both faced Huck twice, would be a good benchmark of where he is.

A war of words has ensued on Twitter yesterday between Bellew and Nathan Cleverley, (the latter has yet to decide what weight he is going to operate at) is another big domestic rematch I would love to see.

Fury v Chisora 2

To continue on my last point, I’m delighted to see another big domestic rematch being announced today.

Tyson Fury will face Dereck Chisora on 26th July in Manchester in an eliminator for the WBO World Heavyweight Championship.

In a division that doesn’t display the depth talent wise as some of its lower-weight counterparts, it is refreshing to see some much-needed exposure for the Heavyweight division.

I’m looking forward to watching the press-conference later as Tyson Fury is always highly entertaining.

Chisora is a much cooler customer these days since the Vitali Klitschko slapping and post-fight brawl with Haye. With an improved diet and focus, it really is a fight that could go either way.

With Deontay Wilder destroying Malik Scott in 96 seconds this weekend in Puerto Rico; a future fight for a World title beckons against Chisora/Fury down the line.

@EliteBoxingBlog

@PaulReady